Old Overholt

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A bottle of Old Overholt

Old Overholt is a long-produced American rye whiskey distilled by A. Overholt & Co., currently a subsidiary of Beam Suntory, which is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. It is produced at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. It is one of the few straight rye whiskies available at most liquor stores in the U.S. It is aged for three years and bottled at 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume).

Old Overholt was originally distilled in Broad Ford, Pennsylvania and was called "Monongahela", as were all pure ryes of the earlier republic. The company claims to have been established in 1810. The whiskey is named for Abraham Overholt, a farmer and distiller and grandfather of American Industrialist Henry Clay Frick.

The brand was parodied in a Warner Brothers cartoon and in the Terry Pratchett novels The Dark Side of the Sun and Soul Music[1] as "Old Overcoat".

It was the so-called "medicinal" alcohol of the United States Navy during World War II.[citation needed]

It is reputed to have been the alcoholic beverage of choice of the gunfighter and gambler Doc Holliday[2] and Johnny Ringo.

Currently (as of December 2015), Old Overholt and Old Grand-Dad – both of which are Beam Suntory brands – are marketed together as "The Olds".[3]


Food critic Morgan Murphy said "This very old brand of rye whiskey needles the drinker with zings of fruit flavors, grain bite, and sweet cereal notes."[4]

Whisky writer Jim Murray said "creamy nose...citrus notes...very hard rye...momentarily moist and sweet before going on to perfect the driest, crispest finish of its genre".[5]


  1. ^ Terry Pratchett (2003) Soul Music, HarperTorch ISBN 978-0061054891
  2. ^ Doc Holliday Museum tour on YouTube
  3. ^ The Olds, Beam Suntory.
  4. ^ Murphy, Morgan; Editors of Southern Living magazine (2014). Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Foods. Oxmoor House. ISBN 978-0848743161. 
  5. ^ Murray, Jim (2012). The Complete Guide to Whisky. UK: Carlton Books. p. 215. ISBN 9781780972367. 

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